Farewell, little Lady and rest in peace. We have never met in person, but I owe you so much. The years you lived with my sweetheart, the separation torture and the many years since have been formative. So I am with a man now, that is the kindest person imaginable. Understanding and caring, because he knows of the depths and shallows, that can befall anyone.
Albeit loving each other thoroughly and referring to each other as man and wife, my sweetheart and I both are in fact still married to our respective spouses of young. We always have fun, whenever people inquire as how to address our relationship, saying: “We are happily married, just not to each other.”
This has come to an end last night. My sweetheart’s wife passed away. The last couple of weeks have been a nightmare. Our live revolved around care for the elderly and sick. I was busy with organising care for my dad and my sweetheart had to do the same for his old aunt, at the same time visiting his wife, who was hospitalised with a condition, that doctors said, gave her one more year, at the most. It was but two and a half weeks.
When he came back from his visit to the hospital on Wednesday, he already mentioned her decline. She was transferred to an intensive care unit and he was not able to understand her weak utterings. Yesterday morning, he asked me for books with short stories fit to be read to her. She always loved books and he wanted to read to her, since talking to each other wasn’t an option any longer. When I came home from work in the evening, he fell into my arms, weeping. His sister-in-law had just called, saying that his wife has been put into a coma and intubated, to help her breathing. She was dying. I suggested to go see her immediately, but he hesitated. He called the ward and asked, if it made any sense to visit. The nurse said yes, she is still with us. So I bundled him up and took him to the hospital. I sat in a blank waiting room, while he spent a while next doors, sitting with his departing wife. When he came out, he looked grave. He said, she was already gone, not noticing anything anymore. The doctor said, that one organ after the next was giving in, but that it might still take a while. He was somewhat enraged, because he thought, that his wife hadn’t noticed, that he was there and why had he been made to come. This was directed at both the hospital staff and me. The doctor explained, that staff does that for the families more often than for the patients. As soon as we were back in the car and on our way home, this proofed to be true. His shock-like state abated, he became calm, saying that it was good to have been there, seeing that death would be a mercy.
It was not an hour after we had arrived at home, sitting up talking about this Lady’s life, when the phone rang to inform him of her death.
He still insists, that she hadn’t noticed his last visit. But I still insist, it helped her let go.
As for me, I am just sad. There is no manual for how to help ones sweetheart to mourn and bury his wife, I guess. But what I can do, I will do.